The Temple News thinks the voter ID law is a nuisance to student voters.
On March 14, Pennsylvania became the 16th state to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The new law requires voters to produce a Pennsylvania driver’s license or another form of government-issued photo identification. The state will accept college IDs or personal care home IDs so long as they are current and include an expiration date. This new legislation came in order to prevent voter fraud.
However, “Raising the unsubstantiated specter of mass voter fraud suits a particular policy agenda…claims of voter fraud should be carefully tested before they become the basis for action,” as cited in a policy brief on voter fraud by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
The Temple News recognizes that this new law possesses many problems for eligible voters. Some argue that this controversial law is an attempt to disenfranchise and discourage minority and elderly voters. However, the same way that campaigns were funded to register new voters in the 2008 elections, should be the same way that campaigns are funded to ensure all eligible voters are properly equipped with the necessary and appropriate identification to cast their vote in the 2012 elections.
The Temple News supports the Temple Student Government’s initiative toward creating new Owl Cards that comply with the expiration date requirement stated by the state voter ID law as reported in “Dems., TSG call for ID expiration dates” on p. 1 by John Moritz. If the intentions of the voter ID law are not meant to be discriminatory, then proposed legislation to ease the complications of obtaining a proper ID need to be created immediately.
Obviously, we don’t support voter fraud, but The Temple News does not see voter fraud as either a serious threat. It’s clear that this law does more harm than good and we’ll support campus initiatives that will ease the effects of this law and make it easier for students to vote.